Life in progress


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Pain is a Great Motivator

I’m truly amazed at what I’ve learned as a response to the pain in my right shoulder. What I’ve accomplished leads me to believe that perhaps pain is responsible for the entire evolution of man.

Okay, maybe not… but just maybe.

For all of the fifty-one years I’ve been on this earth I’ve been right-handed. Apart from holding a fork, and even then only when I have a knife in my right, I’ve never done much with it. Oh, and touch-typing of course. But even then, I can’t manage to hit the space bar with my left thumb without seriously thinking about it. Doing so slows me down considerably, so I’ll stop trying.

But now! now I’m able to do almost everything except write with it. And why? Why do I use my left hand now without even thinking about it? Because for most things, using my right is excruciating. Eating, drinking from a cup, brushing my hair, reaching for things, even wiping my butt; I’ve suddenly become ambidextrous. Pain has taught me how to do all these things at more than half a century old!

So I got to thinking about the evolution of man and how pain might have helped us get to where we are. Think about technology for instance. Imagine how many blisters we’d have and how wrinkled our skin would be if we actually had to walk and then swim to another continent! Not to mention being eaten by fish with numerous rows of teeth! And what about grocery stores. How much hunger would we have to endure if we had to wait for, say, a potato to grow. Or a cow. With the invention of aisles upon aisles of ready-grown food we don’t have to worry about that!

So I conclude that pain must be the greatest motivator in the world. Can you think of one better? I think not!


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My Beloved Paper Route

It’s been a busy day, starting out with an appointment with Catherine, my occupational therapist. I was happy to go – my tendonitis/rotator cuff injury has been getting steadily more painful. It’s at the point now that I can’t properly wash the hair on the right side of my head without supporting my right arm with my left. Getting dressed and undressed is something I dread, and don’t even ask about the jungle that is my right armpit. (I swear I have a nest of gerbils under there.)

So what does all this have to do with the title of my post? It’s like this: Catherine made a few suggestions concerning the flare-up I’m having in my shoulder (and now my entire arm) that included making sure I’m sitting up as straight as possible when I’m on the computer *sits up straight*, attending some aqua fitness classes in a therapy pool, and taking a temporary leave of absence from my job. Yes, my job. My beloved walk around the block every day.

It’s not that the walking is doing me any harm except that in the snow, with the possibility of slipping and seriously hurting myself, I’m walking hunched over in the attempt to be more careful about my footing. In essence, I’m making my shoulder worse. So I called my boss at the paper and left a message on her machine this afternoon. I’m still waiting for a call back.

The more I think about it though, the more upset I am at the prospect that I may get fired over this. It’s not the monetary loss, nor is it really even the fact that I do it for the exercise. The truth is, this stupid little job actually gets me out to talk to people. It makes me a part of the community in a way nothing else does – because I’m really not a part of it. My work, my family, and my friends are all here in my home. I have one friend on the outside of these walls and that’s it. Without my paper route I’m no longer part of the work force. I have no worth as a citizen. I’m merely raising my children and, without the meagre $20 per week I make off the paper, am completely dependent on the system.

While I await the verdict from my boss I’ll contemplate what I should do. Perhaps I can make a living off my writing… oh no, wait. Catherine also told me to get off the computer. It, too, is hurting my shoulder. Speech to text? Anyone tried it?

I’ll keep you all posted and let you know what’s happening. Now I have to run. I think the gerbils are thirsty.


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Congratulations, Ms. Hill, It’s a Rotator Cuff

We all knew it, didn’t we? I finally found a doctor who was brave enough to stop looking at the x-rays and ultrasounds and take the time to poke, prod and generally make me uncomfortable enough to make a diagnosis on my shoulder pain. I have a rotator cuff injury! *gasp* Two out of four quadrants are affected. Damned if I can remember which ones they are, but the point is, now that I know what’s really wrong I can do what actually felt natural – exercise – to try to fix the problem.

In the last twenty-four hours I’ve come to realize that it’s not really my shoulder that’s bothering me much; it’s all the muscles I’ve let go in the attempt to allow my shoulder to heal. So while I know I can’t push too hard, I can concentrate on exactly what hurts and stop if it’s my shoulder and keep going, albeit gently, if it’s not.

Whoopie!

I’ve also come to realize that being sick can be a good thing. I have some sort of stomach flu that kept me flat on my back for all of Sunday – I slept about 30 hours between Saturday night and Monday morning – but I’m feeling at least awake now and quite happy to be so. Which is why being sick is good. It feels great when it stops!

In all, things are looking up. 🙂


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SoCS – Pain and Gratitude

If you’ve been hanging out at my blog for a while you’ll know I hate whining. The last thing I want is for people to feel sorry for me – that’s not what this is about. What it is about is something I’m reminded of during every waking moment.

Other than when I was pregnant, I’ve never dealt with this much prolonged pain in my life. I’m talking about my shoulder. In December, just before my trip to Japan, I went to see an Occupational Therapist, who told me I needed to “stay off” it, so to speak. To try not to do too much with it. The timing was actually perfect for this. Going to Japan meant that I didn’t have to reach for things in high places like I do at home – things like plates in cupboards and hanging laundry near the rafters in the basement. I could give it a rest. Therein lies my biggest problem.

It turned out that I was exercising the muscles around the joint and protecting it with these regular household tasks. What happened when I came back from Japan? Pain. Pain like nothing else. Gone were the protective muscles. Now I’m told I have tendonitis on top of the degeneration in my shoulder joint. It’s not just the shoulder now, it’s the elbow as well. Nerves are affected and as I sit here typing my funnybone is numbing my baby finger. Good thing I don’t have to hit the “enter” key at the end of every line, eh?

I fear I’ll be living with this for the rest of my life. Gone is the ambition to ever go back to Karate, though Tai Chi I might be able to manage. It might even help. What I really seriously need is a series of exercises to build up the correct muscles around the problem so that I can function properly. I have hope! In the meantime, I have pain. Oh, and Advil. Lots of Advil.

I did want to take the time today to thank everyone who participates in SoCS. It’s been a while since I did that, and it’s now in my own stream of conscious to do so. I’m grateful for so many things in my life and I rarely have the feeling that I’m showing my appreciation enough. I do appreciate every single one of you who take the time to write using my prompts and visit one another. I earnestly don’t know what I’d do without this community of writers, of people who care, of like minds who relate so well with not only me but with each other. Nothing gives me a thrill quite like the one I get when I see people meeting one another for the first time and it’s SoCS, or JusJoJan, or One-Liner Wednesday that brought them together.

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Cheers with pain killers!! 😉

This post is part of SoCS: https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/23/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-january-2415/

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

And JusJoJan: https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/

JJJ 2015Click on the links and join in both today!


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Random Update – Doctor Fortune Cookie Edition

I love it when a fortune cookie actually tells my fortune.

fortunecookie

I did have an opportunity to edit this weekend, since the kids were with their dad. Now to play the lottery with those numbers… or did I miss it? I’ll check Saturday’s draw and see.

In other news, I went to the doctor about my shoulder and my eyes on Friday. She’s sending me for another ultrasound for the shoulder and I’m on Advil three times a day to see if it helps. Apparently if we can figure out whether it’s bone or soft tissue that’s causing the problem, she’ll know how to treat it.

My eyes on the other hand, she had no answer for. My bloodwork showed that I’m perfect – I already knew that though (haha) – so the good news is it’s not diabetes. Anyway, she said she’ll talk to an optometrist colleague this weekend and get back to me next week if they come up with any ideas. I thought of something that I neglected to mention to her since. I’ve been watching my diet, screen time, and all kinds of things to see if there was a common denominator to when I have problems, but the one thing I hadn’t watched was what I was drinking. I wonder if I get dehydrated, particularly when all I drink in a day is coffee and wine. I’ll mention that if she doesn’t come up with anything better.

Or maybe what I really need is more Chinese food to get my answer.


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Update on a Weirdish Week

First, I’d like to say hi and welcome to my new followers. I appreciate your interest in my blog, and I promise to come and visit all of yours the moment I have a chance. I’ll put a few pertinent links in this post so you can keep up with the rest of the class. Here we go.

I have no clue why I posted not one, but TWO one-liners today. Okay, I do have an idea – WordPress wouldn’t let me not schedule the one I had scheduled, and when I tried to change it to next week I must have messed up. If you haven’t read them both, you probably should. Each have links to other people’s one-liners. There are some great ones this week!

Then this afternoon I was contemplating life and dreams and things when I came up with a great concept for a new novel! Only I’m not going to have time to write it. Editing is slow-going these days, even though I’ve been working on it every spare minute I have to sit quietly. Only 50 pages to go out of 524. 😀

I’m still searching for the perfect sleeping companion. I’ve tried a few but none have worked out. I can tell you, it’s frustrating having a different one every night of the week and never finding the satisfaction I was hoping for!

My doctor’s appointment went… okay. She’s going to get the records from my old doctor’s office to see what my x-ray and ultrasound from last May said about my right shoulder, but she doesn’t want to give me any exercises to do until she knows. The last idiot doctor said, “Just stretch.” He also said it was arthritis, but the symptoms don’t fit. So I have to wait for another month before I get any results.

On top of that now, I had a hellish weekend with Alex and had to move all the furniture except his bed out of his room, by myself, because he was smashing it and putting dents in the walls. Mostly, I didn’t want him to hurt himself. So what happened? I hurt the other shoulder.

BUT, I had this weekend to look forward to. The kids were going to go to their dad’s… but wait! He’s sick and so are the rest of his family! So no break. He offered to take them anyway, but with the new super-bug that’s going around, I don’t need to take the chance that Alex will end up in hospital like when he had H1N1… or when he had pneumonia… or RSV… or bronchiolitis… or… you get the picture. I did however manage to wrangle some hours out of my eldest son for Sunday so I can do the backstage tour of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. I’ll take pictures!

And speaking of pictures, it was Alex’s picture day at school on Monday. He looked so dapper I couldn’t wait for the official photos. This was taken before school.

CAM00341

He came home, however, with his shirt untucked and done up one button off, and the knot on his tie reaching his breastbone looking much like a drunken businessman.

Kids. 🙄

So that’s been my week. How ’bout yours?


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Wanted: Sleeping Companion

As many of you may remember, I fell while delivering papers last December during an ice storm (I’m stupidly dedicated to my job) and received a concussion when I hit my head on a concrete step. (That was a fun post: you should read it.) When I went down that fateful day, I also landed with a concrete step across my shoulders. Since then, I have suffered with shoulder pain.

You might be wondering by now what the title of this post is all about.

I have a hard time sleeping because of my right shoulder. If I lay on it, it hurts. Same thing when I lay on my back – and that’s not a comfortable position for me anyway. If I lay on my left side, I have to try to keep my right shoulder straight. If I leave my arm resting on my body, it falls off. If I prop my side up with my hand on the mattress, my wrist hurts, and if I put my arms together with my elbows touching, my shoulder still isn’t straight enough.

I finally figured out the solution this morning. A sleeping companion!

No, not a man. Get yer minds out of the gutter.

What I need is, a teddy bear. One big enough that if I keep it close to my chest it will keep my shoulders straight. Seems the perfect solution! So today I’m going to go through the boxes from my failed garage sale of a few weeks back and dig out an old stuffed animal. I have an appointment with the doctor on Monday. Hopefully a more permanent fix is somewhere in my future. I’ll let you know how it goes.